Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Troubled Waters


So I'm on the train the other afternoon, sitting in the vestibule area, and there's this middle aged woman sitting opposite me. She was looking a bit unhappy, and not real well.

Then she brings out a tissue and holds it to her mouth, her head sort of bowed. I'm starting to get concerned. Then she spits up a bit in to her tissue and I'm thinking, well, lady that's pretty gross. Then suddenly she's cupping her hands and quickly fills it up. Horror suddenly appears on the faces of myself and those around me.

The cup spilleth over. And over. And over. Now its a torrent and the dam walls break. She holds her soiled hands up and lets rip straight on to the floor. Whoosh. And again, I say, whooosh! It's the size of a pancake. Now it's the size of a puddle. Rapidly it is expanding it's borders, and pushing hither and thither into occupied territory. The carriage is swaying and carrying waves of the abomination like an unquiet sea, raging on to the shores of unspoilt beaches.

The poor lady is helpless as wave after wave hits. All dignity is gone. There's no apologetic eye-contact, just a bowed, ashamed head, thrusting repeatedly at the floor, as she makes her very own Jackson Pollock painting.

It's mayhem. People are running. I scramble through my bag looking for something to offer to help. Something to catch or clean with. There's nothing. I look down as the tide is rapidly approaching my toes, and with a dry-retch all my own, I high-tail it out of there.

I felt very bad afterwards for running away. Especially as I have tasted this same humiliation. But.. well, I have no but's. It was gross and I had to get the heck out of there.


peter y said...

that's bloody gross mate...

Guthers said...

You have a way with words Ben. I almost dry-retched just reading this.

I'd like to think I would have helped this woman - but I wouldn't have. I'm too sympathetic, I would have just compounded the problem.